By Jay Bemis | Advertising Systems Inc.
In this app- and social-media-minded age in which we live today, it’s easy to think of email as something that’s a bit passé.
But email refuses to be outdated. Recent data from Statista and Smart Insights, respectively, show that 85 percent of internet users in the United States use email and that it ranks as the most effective technique among digital marketers — edging out such other channels as social-media marketing and SEO.
As a small-business owner, you already know that kingly web content and such other tools as newsletters, blogs and social-media posts are vital parts to any successful email campaign: All have proven to attract new business and maintain your relationship with existing customers.
As you continue to use such a formula for your effective email marketing strategy, there are other factors to keep considering. We present some of those here today.
We’re calling them “Four ‘G’s to Consider for an Effective Email Marketing Campaign”:
• Growing Audience
Growing your audience begins with an attractive landing page on your website, consumer research, and a carefully targeted email list, or knowing who’s most interested in the products and services you offer.
Converting these targets into subscribers who keep returning to your site might entail giving away something free that your targets desire and will appreciate; creating an online competition that ends with some sort of enticing prize; or, using a plug-in within your content management system (CMS) that keeps the reader interested before they might leave your site and shift to another.
What do these plug-ins usually display? They display a pop-up window offering potential subscribers a resource with additional information, such as a white paper or e-book, but more crucially asking for their email address so you can send them the extra info and add them to your subscriber list.
• Goal Setting
The start of a new year is the best time to set your email marketing goals, but they can be devised and revised at any time. All this requires is grabbing your calendar or organizer and making a month-by-month list.
Make note of the key dates for your business, such as annual sales. We’ve noticed as of late, for example, that Labor Day appears to be a prime period for furniture and mattress sales. Or, perhaps your brew pub offers free samples at an annual beer festival.
Goals should be concise, with your marketing efforts for each event beginning weeks in advance. Potential leads and subscribers should then be tracked with analytics from your CMS so you can study and determine how to amend and polish your goals.
• Gutting the Gaps in Those Goals
Does your marketing calendar look a bit empty in certain months? Most months feature some sort of national holiday or month-long recognition, and each month, especially in this social-media age, offers various recognition days from which it’s possible to market your products and services. These recognition days make it easy to fill in those calendar gaps.
Within the past month or two, for example, there have been a National Ice Cream Day, a National Fried Chicken Day, a National French Fry Day and, more recently, a National Dog Day.
A number of online resources detail special days each month. Here’s one site we’ve found, which offers you plenty of help.
• Gratitude With a Personal Touch
Emails to your subscribers and potential leads should always include a personal touch, but perhaps the most important time is when those potential leads become subscribers and it’s time to thank them. Dave Gerhardt, a brand builder, best-selling author and marketer from Boston, emphasized this very topic in a recent LinkedIn post.
He says too many companies are too blunt when thanking a lead for becoming a subscriber, sending a message such as this: “You are confirmed. Thanks.”
“Be funny,” Gerhardt advises. “Be witty. Ask them to share on social. Suggest other stuff they might like of yours while they’re there. Tell them to check out your blog or podcast. Ask them to reply directly to that email.
“It’s free money. Free marketing real estate. And I bet you could go and update a TON of email campaigns/nurtures just with this alone and get better results ASAP.”